A FORMER Kingston mayor who helped Surrey Police fight the Islamic radicalisation of youngsters has accused the force’s commissioner of treating him in a “racially-motivated” way, after he abolished his position as an adviser on equality and diversity.

Conservative David Munro defeated Surrey’s ‘zero tolerance’ Independent Kevin Hurley in the county’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) election in May.

But the Independent Police Complaints Commission has now asked Surrey’s police and crime scrutiny panel to investigate claims Mr Munro caused Kingston’s Liberal Democrat councillor Shiraz Mirza “personal distress”.

The former Army major has declined to comment on the allegation, which is understood to relate to an overheard phone call regarding the ending of Cllr Mirza’s contract.

Cllr Mirza said: “I never spoke to David Munro about what I did, what I achieved in the role or whether he wanted to know anything from me about my work.

“I was very upset. All I have done is dedicate my life to my community work. Who’s going to look after the people I’m leaving behind?”

Cllr Mirza, a Pakistani-born Muslim who came to England aged 19, served as Kingston’s first Asian mayor in 2000 and again in 2007.

Known for his work with minority groups, he has received threats from Islamic extremists but refers to the UK as the “most Islamic country in the world” because he feels its society practices the core values of the religion to a degree not found anywhere else.

He was hired by Mr Hurley to advise on equality and diversity in 2013.

The 64-year-old’s role included helping Surrey Police recruit black and ethnic minority officers, securing funding for the Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum, and working with Prevent officers to intervene in cases of young men being groomed for terrorism.

He said police officers often asked him to talk with people from minority communities – 17 per cent of Surrey’s 1.2 million population – “because they won’t speak to us”.

Mr Hurley praised Cllr Mirza for the trust he helped build between Surrey Police and the county’s Muslim communities in particular.

He said: “I addressed Friday prayers in Sunni and Shia mosques as well as the international gathering of Ahmadi Muslims.

“I attended post-Ramadan iftars.

“I even gave talks in the mosque about my role in the invasion of Iraq as a soldier and an overseas police chief.

“Such lively and challenging debate is unheard of with hundreds of young Muslim males.

“Shiraz has played a key role in building community cohesion and done much to help stop extremism.

“He has been an advocate amongst the white community for people of different race. He helped build real trust.

“At a time of increased bigotry and racist scaremongering in the UK, his work is of increasing importance.”

One resident, who asked not to be named, said he met with Cllr Mirza over concerns his son was being groomed as a suicide bomber. He said he felt Cllr Mirza took his fears more seriously than Surrey Police had done previously.

The man added: “The community came out into the open and instead of putting problems under the carpet, we thought, ‘We’ve got to talk to him because we trust him’.

“There has to be that transparency and openness. People are scared to talk. Shiraz would encourage people to come forward.

“The confidence people had will all be gone because now they will deal with someone who doesn’t understand the community.”

A sub-committee of Surrey’s police and crime panel is due to meet on July 29 to consider Cllr Mirza’s complaint.

In a letter sent earlier this month the panel summarised his complaint as “that the Commissioner has treated you in a racially motivated manner which in turn has caused you personal distress”.

Cllr Mirza’s complaint against Mr Munro, 68, stems from an alleged conversation the commissioner had with Alison Bolton, the chief executive of his office. Ms Bolton has declined to comment.

The Chessington South councillor said he heard about the alleged conversation when he heard Mr Hurley discussing it on the phone with another member of staff at PCC headquarters, shortly after Mr Munro’s victory.

A spokesman for Mr Munro said the commissioner was “keen to build relationships with all of Surrey’s minority and ethnic communities himself and no longer requires a consultant to attend meetings with minority groups on his behalf”.

The spokesman said the PCC would instead take advice from the Independent Advisory Group (IAG), set up 15 years ago in the wake of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry.

While the IAG includes minority representatives, it is understood to have been created to support Surrey’s police officers, rather than the PCC, with a different remit than the official adviser.

A councillor in Surrey for more than 20 years, Mr Munro ran for election as PCC “to give Surrey a fresh start”, vowing to support victims, tackle the threat of terrorism and provide value for money.